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Allan

Detroit: Twin 25-story Towers to be Built

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COMMITTED TO DETROIT: UDM plan will alter downtown's skyline

Twin towers to rise on parking lot behind its law school

September 20, 2003

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

The new University of Detroit Mercy campus that will take shape in downtown Detroit will be much more than an expansion of its existing law school.

All university departments will be able to offer classes there, and students will be able to earn master's of business administration and other advanced degrees at the downtown location.

Those details and others emerged Friday as UDM prepared to unveil its proposals Friday night for a gala dinner for its biggest contributors.

Dubbed UDM's concept car, the plans are subject to change but give a good idea of what the university has in mind, said Adrian Kerrigan, vice president for university advancement.

A computer-generated illustration provided by the school shows a twin-tower development rising about 25 stories on land bordered by Larned, Congress, St. Antoine and the I-375 service drive. The site is now a parking lot behind the law school.

The project would cost in the $160-million range, and add hundreds of thousands of square feet of classroom, residential and parking space to the downtown skyline.

Groundbreaking is expected in early 2004, but the full scope of the plan will take years to finish, Kerrigan said.

The university's expansion will take place amid a general downtown building boom. Among other work, civic leaders are raising money and mapping plans for an elaborate six-mile riverfront park and development stretching from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle. Plans also are in the works for new casino hotels, a renovation of the vacant Book-Cadillac Hotel and several other projects.

Kerrigan said the university wants to be a major player in the evolving downtown scene. "This work solidifies us as the primary educational partner for all that work," he said. "It can only add value to all of our graduates and their degrees."

The downtown work is part of a wide-ranging strategic plan that will reshape UDM by 2020. Tentative plans call for expanding both the main campus at McNichols and Livernois and the downtown location, consolidating all classes at those two and eventually phasing out the old Mercy College campus on Outer Drive.

UDM has shown the sort of fund-raising prowess that would be needed to make its plans come true. Last year the university received nearly $10 million in cash, a $2-million increase from the previous year. In June, UDM also announced that it surpassed its multiyear Legacy Campaign goal of $100 million to raise $101.3 million.

"UDM has demonstrated its commitment to the city for 126 years," Kerrigan said. "We're proud that the success of this campaign ensures that the university continues its tradition of quality education in this dynamic urban environment."

Contact JOHN GALLAGHER at 313-222-5173 or [email protected]

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That's great news for Detroit, whose skyline is somewhat underrated in my opinion. You always got to get excited when you hear twin towers will rise!

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You always got to get excited when you hear twin towers will rise!

Especially when it's in a city like Detroit, which hasn't seen any new skyscrapers in ten years. I'm still waiting for the renderings to be released though....

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It's always nice to hear when new development is built in a parking lot instead of tearing down existing!

This thread is pretty old, has anyone seen any progress on this? I normally don't go over there when I am downtown, but will next time I'm there and take some pictures.

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No progress yet. It syas groundbreaking will occur in early 2004, but knowing Detroit, I'm not expecting to see any activity until early 2005.

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This is the only one that I've seen. If I knew who the architect was, I could go look on their site for one, but I have no idea who it is.

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